Business is trusted most in a polarized world, report says

People worldwide are more gloomy about their economic prospects than ever before and trust business far more than other institutions like governments, nonprofits and the media

in an increasingly divided world, according to a survey from public relations firm Edelman. Released late Sunday to coincide with the World Economic Forum's gathering of

business elites and government leaders this week in Davos, Switzerland, the online survey conducted in 28 countries shows that fewer people believe their family will be better off

in five years. Those who believe they'll be better off dropped to 40% from 50% last year and hit all-time lows in 24 nations. That is because 89% fear losing their job, 74%

worry about inflation, 76% are concerned about climate change and 72% worry about nuclear war. The Edelman Trust Barometer also says 62% of respondents see business as both

competent and ethical, compared with 59% for nongovernmental agencies, 51% for governments and 50% for the media. That was attributed to how companies treated workers during the

COVID-19 pandemic and return to offices as well as many businesses vowing to exit Russia after it invaded Ukraine. People still said they distrusted CEOs as well as

government leaders and journalists, while trusting their own corporate executives, co-workers and neighbors. Scientists were trusted the most — by 76% of respondents. “The

increased level of trust in business brings with it higher-than-ever expectations of CEOs to be a leading voice on societal issues,” said Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman. “By a

six-to-one margin, respondents want more societal involvement by business on issues such as climate change, economic inequality and workforce reskilling."